brussels, belgium / december 13, 2013
Translated to English by Janik Bastien-Charlebois and Alessia Valenza
Hi everybody, I am Kris from Belgium. I will continue in French because my English is bad.
I am intersex. I have what is called PAIS. This simply means that my body is partially insensitive to testosterone. I have suffered many surgeries starting when I was born, both cosmetic and others.
I would like to inform parents that these kinds of surgeries are not necessary or mandatory. You should let your children decide what they want and what they don’t want. See how they grow and develop and let them have the freedom of choice. There is no use in imposing anything, because this only leads to depression and other psychological problems, that may even eventually lead, sometimes, to suicide.
My story is a difficult one. When I was born my genitals were quite ambiguous, and my caregivers did not know what to do with me. My doctors decided for me and for my parents to make me a girl despite the fact that my testes were visible and descended. These repeated cosmetic surgical interventions brought nothing positive, in fact it was quite the contrary. In addition to many psychological problems, I am now left with physical ones like osteoporosis and others that continue to affect my quality of life.
What you (parents) will be presented with will always be some medical discourse, like 'We must surgically assign, and raise the child as, one gender or the other.' I think we must not listen to them so much.
Get informed. Today, we have the Internet. There are opportunities for you to do your own research to see that there are options other than the ones your doctors will offer you.
What I would like to say to doctors is that we are not circus freaks that must be exposed in various ways, especially concerning photographs taken of our genitals and examinations with twenty students or members of the medical staff being present. These examinations and photographs are unnecessary, traumatizing, and, in my opinion are, no different than pedo-pornography. Your white coat won’t make a child feel any less traumatized.
Like the tagline for The Interface Project says: No Body Is Shameful®. This simply means that no one’s body is distressing or burdensome.
Leave the choice. Let the child choose. Don’t impose anything.©